Atari's National Pac-Man Day celebrates the home console release of the arcade classic. Atari thought about dedicating an entire day towards Pac-Man in hopes of lifting their iconic character alongside the likes of other people who have their own day. They actually put on a bit of a show, holding public events at certain locations with things like competitions and the chance for kids to shake hands with a man dressed in an uncomfortable Pac-Man outfit. On April 3rd, 1982, Atari finally declared the day to be National Pac-Man day!
Let The Games Begin!
The titular character, Pac-Man, was originally said to be designed after its creator, Iwatani, saw a pizza missing a slice, but that is only half-true, with the character design also coming from the Japanese character for mouth. Pac-Man is, perhaps, one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time. Throughout the 1980s, he was everywhere; from television to supermarket shelves, you couldn't go most places without seeing Pac-Man.
Now thanks to the wonders of the internet and it being National Pac-Man Day you can find him popping up all over the internet. For some National Pac-Man day is a dedicated to traversing throughout the maze containing various dots and avoiding the four multi-colored ghosts: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. To others it's a nostalgic day filled with all things Pac-Man from the iconic games to toys and to wishing Toru Iwatani another year on his wonderful creation. But there's nothing quite like creating your own version of the iconic game and having some fun with it.
3D printing has done wonders when it comes to the video game industry and Pac-Man is no exemption. Various 3D printable version of the iconic characters and villains have made their way onto the internet for our own enjoyment. Take for example the 3D printable refrigerator Pac-Man character magnets on Thingiverse by Blecheimer. Blecheimer did a great job with these 3D models and when placed upon a refrigerator in a Pac-Man esque style it really brings them together and makes you fee like you could be playing Pac-Man.
Though Blecheimer did a really good job with those 3D models we have to give it up to Alan Grier of AliG3D with his "PACMAN CHASER mechanical toy" as he calls it up on Thingiverse. The ingenuity of this simplistic model design is really quite something, we would have never thought of that. The best thing about this 3D model is the reverse feature that Alan implemented. Though this does take quite a bit of different color filaments to produce without any post production it can still be replicated with one color strand of filament and some post production to match up to Alan's final product. Nevertheless this is still one awesome 3D model of a Pac-Man model being chased and chasing some Pac-Man Ghost.
Where would Pac-Man be if it wasn't for the Pac-Man Ghosts?? You can't have one without the other one and if you already have a 3D printed Pac-Man you have to have a 3D printed Pac-Man Ghost. Well that's just about what the 3D Printing Nerd Joel Telling thought when he decided it was time to finally 3D print a Pac-Man Ghost.
Joel Telling found the model for the Pac-Man Ghost on Thingiverse from designer Alex Hatch. Who modeled the Pac-Man Ghost in RhinoCAD to test and display materials with a bronzefill. According to Alex this model prints great without any supports and retains it's shape and resolution at any scale which is very convenient because not all 3D models that you upscale hold up to its shape or resolution. As you can see the bronzed-filled filament is an excellent choice for the model but bigger is always better and with a 600% scale we have to say that we don't know of anything else that could top that Pac-Man Ghosts besides maybe a 600% Pac-Man to traverse the maze together perhaps?
Reaching New Heights
On Pac-Man's thirty eighth we are still celebrating the bright yellow power-pellet eating character who has a taste for chasing and consuming colorful ghosts. Still points-driven and speeding toward Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde decades later, Pac-Man has finally made it on the big screen via Sony’s Pixels. And as new technology paid homage to retro, 3D printing was responsible as the medium for launching a giant 3D printed Pac-Man into the heavens from the UK. The 3D model, attached to a helium balloon, purportedly reached heights of 34,949 meters.
“It is hard to believe that 35 years has passed since we created Pac-Man. It has been very exciting to see the world accept him as their own,” said Professor Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man.
This will be the birthday extravaganza heard all around the world not only as the 3D printed character soared high into the sky but cakes were iced and eaten in the Pac-Man’s name, parties thrown, and shout-outs given far and wide. It's a amazing achievement of a game to be this highly popular after thirty eight years. To think that the 35th anniversary of Pac-Man was celebrated with a 3D printed version of the model and lifted off into the heaven just wait till the 50th anniversary of the beloved icon and we just might get that Golden Pac-Man version of the game.